The Fall of the Roman Church?
#11
That's a good question and one I can't answer. Hopefully, MM will look in on this thread and give us the benefit of his education.
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#12
(06-22-2021, 05:12 PM)Melkite Wrote: Does the Church teach we are to assume the sacraments are valid, or that they are objectively valid?

Four aspects are needed : Matter, Form, Minister and Intention. If all of these are correct, then the Sacrament is confected and the grace flows ex opere operato. That is de fide and found in at least four councils (Constance, Trent, Lateran, and Florence) as well as plenty of other statements.

The question of assuming valid certain Sacraments flows from this.

The moral principle that is universally accepted is that a negative doubt (a what-if or maybe) must be despised. Only a positive doubt may be entertained.

Unless there is objective evidence that matter, form, minister or intention is lacking, to suspect one lacking would be a negative doubt, and as Jovan pointed out, would have every sacrament ever offered doubted and questioned. That would be untenable.

(06-22-2021, 05:12 PM)Melkite Wrote: What about the priest who clandestinely intends to not do what the Church does, and makes no external sign of his intention?

He would sin, and the effect would not flow ex opere operato. It does not mean that grace or the effect would not flow, but not by means of a guarantee.

Thus, a man who genuinely tried to confess his sins, had sorrow, and did as he ought, but because of some error on the priest's part, or a lack of intention on his part is not given absolution properly, would not have receive grace through a Sacrament, but at the same point, I think no one reasonable would hold that God would not supply the forgiveness and grace in such a case. It would simply not be through a valid Sacrament.

We could not have an absolute metaphysical certitude of the validity of a particular offering of a sacrament, just as we cannot have metaphysical certitude that we are in the State of Grace. We can have only a moral certitude (no knowledge or sign of an intentionally unconfessed mortal sin). So, we can only have moral certitude that the sacrament offered had all of the elements.

One of the guarantees of this, however, is the rite itself. If the sacramental action is so surrounded by words, actions and other signs that clearly suggest and dispose the recipient and minister, the minister would need to have a very actively contorted intention if he were to intend against the sacrament. Just as it is hard to not have the proper intention to marry when one arranges a wedding, plans everything, prepares properly, takes the classes with the priest, talks openly of marriage, then walks down the aisle in a church in a traditional ceremony; so to it would be hard when the rite is so surrounded by dispositive elements to have a contrary intention without actively forming this.

That is one of the arguments against the newer form of the Sacraments which often reduces these surrounding rites so much that it is unclear what is being done.
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#13
(06-23-2021, 04:33 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: One of the guarantees of this, however, is the rite itself. If the sacramental action is so surrounded by words, actions and other signs that clearly suggest and dispose the recipient and minister, the minister would need to have a very actively contorted intention if he were to intend against the sacrament. Just as it is hard to not have the proper intention to marry when one arranges a wedding, plans everything, prepares properly, takes the classes with the priest, talks openly of marriage, then walks down the aisle in a church in a traditional ceremony; so to it would be hard when the rite is so surrounded by dispositive elements to have a contrary intention without actively forming this.

This is the scenario I had in mind. I imagine that, even with poor formation and liberal tendencies, most modern priests at least have the intention to do what the Church does, even if they don't properly understand what that is. I had in mind what you describe, someone who actively intends to corrupt and deceive - a true imposter.

Thank you for your answer! That lays to rest a lot of unnecessary worry.
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#14
(06-17-2021, 12:20 PM)Matthew7-7 Wrote: I would disagree with them, as whilst there is the SSPX and other adherents to the true faith, then it clearly hasn't. I do think the Church has been infiltrated, though.

The Church has been infiltrated with sinners from day 1.     Even before day 1, as far back when Jesus first called the twelve.

I always keep in mind two stories.

First
Napoleon was ranting and raving to a Cardinal, saying "I will destroy the Catholic Church."  The Cardinal (I imagine he rolled his eyes) said "If 1800 years of clergy couldn't do it, you certainly can't do it."

Second
A Jewish man came to his local priest saying he wanted to convert.  The priest, who was a CINO, said "you don't want to convert, the Church is very corrupt"  The Jewish man insisted.  Priest said "OK, go to Rome, see what it is like and return, and if you want to convert, we can make it happen."   Jewish man went away,  and went to Rome and returned to the priest.
Jewish Man: I want to conver
Priest:   Didn't you see how bad Rome was? All that corruption?
Jewish Man: Yes, I saw all of that.  I have my eyes opened.  I still want to join.
Priest: Why?
Jewish Man: If the Catholic Church, filled with such corruption survived all of these years, it clearly is not of human origin.  Any human organization that was this corrupt would have fallen ages ago.   The Church clearly is of God.
--BobCatholic 
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#15
And don't forget Caiaphas's prophecy.
--BobCatholic 
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